There's No Reason For Metallica To Stop, Says Frontman James Hetfield

Frontman talks about the end of Metallica, 30 years of musical career and more.

Ultimate Guitar

After the group's recent performance at this year's Soundwave Festival in Australia, Metallica frontman James Hetfield took some time to discuss the current state of affairs within the band in an exclusive Channel V interview.

Apart from naming mosh pits as the "luxury he lost" by playing in Metallica, Hetfield spoke about a hypothetical end of the group, stressing that the band doesn't plan on stopping any time soon.

"There's no reason for us to stop, first of all. As far as artists and musicians, they don't retire. They might tour less. We're having a blast doing what were doing. It's a beautiful cycle, because they think we inspire them, but they inspire us. It feeds itself."

When asked to comment on the Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award the band will be receiving at this year's Golden Gods Awards ceremony, frontman couldn't hide the excitement, adding that "changing people's lives and making an impact on people" is the biggest recognition a musician can get.

"We've been doing what we love for 30 years, and we've had many awards along the way. I think the biggest award is recognition for changing people's lives and making an impact on people, and that is another one of those awards that has done that. Besides getting kudos from the fans, we are totally blessed to get anything."

Metallica has recently announced the lineup for their forthcoming second edition of Orion Music festival set to take place on June 8 and 9 in Detroit. The event will feature the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deftones, The Dillinger Escape Plan and others.

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So what would you do if Metallica called it quits? Let us know in the comments section below.

105 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Metallica will keep rocking for another 30 years...
    Saaaaaint Anger round my neck. Heeeee nevver gets respeccccct. FUCK IT ALL AND NO REGRETS! I HIT THE LIGHTS IN THESE DARK SETS!
    What would I do if Metallica stopped making music... As much as I love Metallica, I'd keep living, simple answer. I'd bit slightly bummed, but in terms of importance in my life? I'd stay married, living where I live, go to work every day, etc. They're one of my all time favorite bands, and I'd keep listening to the music they've made. And the hundreds of other bands I love... some of which have called it quits.
    It's not really any different than what's happening right now. They don't make music often. To be honest, they're just living off the first four albums.
    If there's a single album metallica is living off, it's the black album, so at least say first five
    We'll never stop, we'll never quit cause we're METALLICA!
    Exactly what I was thinking before I clicked the article. It would be awesome if Metallica decided to pull a Lynyrd Skynyrd and just leave the band going until the end of eternity regardless of the members. Maybe the drummer from the best Metallica cover band could be the first one in, eventually Jason would come back and play guitar.
    Rob Man
    Metallica will out-live any other band in history. Metallica is a monster that lives in your soul. It is part of who you are. It cannot die, it only gets stronger through the years. The band will play until God pulls them from this earth.
    I you ask me, metallica are at their best since '89. if you went to see them this year, you would know what I mean, and the setlist is amazing.
    I saw them in Perth on Monday night which was the last stop on the Soundwave Festival tour and they were awesome. A great set full of all the classics and a hell of a show with genuine fireworks to top it off! They looked like they were really enjoying themselves as were the crowd
    I swear James Hetfield does not age!
    Face R1pper
    Have you heard him sing lately? Matt Drake does James Hetfield's voice better than James Hetfield does.
    I disagree. When I had seen Metallica in 2004, yes it was pretty bad, but last year he sounded great both nights.
    I swear the UG staff are just trying to give people the opportunity to insult Lars, cause it's gonna happen somewhere here.
    Insulting Lars? Who ever heard of such a thing? Seriously, a fun topic would be simply "Dave Mustaine, Lars Ulrich, Axel Rose and Courtney Love walk into a bar... discuss"
    Dave: "I think Obama is a ****". Axl: "While I like him, he's a bit TOO LATE to make real changes for USA". Courtney: "Can this Obama thing be smoked?". Lars: "I was gonna sue him, but thanks to ObamaCare I can now afford a forehead reduction surgery".
    King Zeppelin I
    To be fair to Lars, while he might once have been on that level, he's nowhere near that level of douchebaggery now. He seems quite a cool, relaxed guy these days.
    He's always been that cool, relaxed guy. But, for a while he was upset about something (Napster) and very vocal about it in a very public way.
    Battery Chicken
    I think Lars took an unfair amount of flak for the Napster thing. It was comparible to teens nicking carrots from your vegetable garden and then having them lecture you on why they're entitled to free carrots. "Hey old man, if I like your carrots i'll pay you for them. It just so happens these carrots are shit, so baby gets nothing!"
    If all four of those people were in a bar, it'd be some sort of conspiracy... and Mustaine would be on that instantly. Ulrich would steal all of their wallets and sue them for it... Axl Rose would probably just end up beating up some random person in the bar, and Courtney Love would try anything she could to get more attention than the other 3.
    posting anything metallica related is gonna give people an opportunity to insult lars lol but who gives a shit. Whether or not he sucks has all been said a few million times over and over again with the same tired arguments so just filter it out.
    James' attitude and graciousness in this interview is a perfect example of why Metallica is light years ahead of their peers in terms of worldwide success.
    Metallica is a great band with a great legacy but i feel even their harcore fans can admit theyve lost their powerdrive in the 21st century and if this next album doesnt bring them back to their extremee metal talent i feel they should stop
    I second this. I was still a die hard fan around the time of Death magnetic, I wrote it off when I heard it then and I still do now. It just sounded so forced, or as someone else said "they were trying to hard to sound like themselves back in the day". I'll go as far to say St. Anger sounded more natural than DM to me, though I wouldn't consider one better than the other.
    They were good until Jason left, then they seemed to forget how to write solid songs.
    Haha i can honestly say im suprosed i got a positive feedback from this, what i said was a true point that any big time real metallica fan who can admit theres faults with metallica could agree to, but as there is for everyband i feel metallica has abit of dimwitted fans, a kid at school thought they started in 77 -_-
    What I'll be doing when stops? probably work... or school... you know... continue on with my life maybe?..
    Hetfield def deserves the award, but I can't help but think of how their music will sound in their mid to late 60s...
    Metallica, I know a lot of people hate them but I have nothing but respect for the biggest metal band in the world: - Made their mark on not just metal history, but music history, with four incredible albums that pushed the boundaries of the genre. Those four albums inspired a SHIT TON of metal bands across several genres. - Are the biggest metal band in the world, and will probably be the last band of their stature in the genre. They're basically the Beatles (sales-wise) and U2 (live concert draw-wise) of metal. Ain't no one gonna top that - Recorded the best selling heavy metal album of all time. Just to name a few... Those are some awesome life achievements that I'm sure ANY guy in a metal band would give both their nuts for. I ****ing would. These guys will die happy men, having accomplished all that awesome shit in their lives. Again, I'm not even the biggest fan of this band, but I acknowledge that Metallica is truly the biggest metal band with the biggest metal fan base that will ever be. They're waving the metal flag to this day. It's gonna be a sad day for metal in general when they retire, whether you like em or not
    When they quit, I'll be doing the same thing as now, which is to keep not listening to anything they've put out after the black album.
    Tip for UG, you want people to answer a question like the one you put right below the youtube video? make it the title and then start talking about the article then touch base again with the question. I'm sure an article titled "What would you do if Metallica called it quits?" would've definitively caught my eye as well as others'. But anyways, Congrats to Metallica on the award.
    You can say whatever shit about Lars, but you can't say the same about Uncle Het. This guy is honest as naked balls
    I think they're past their prime. I love their first 5 albums, but whether or not they make music is up to them. If I don't like their music, I just won't listen to it. It's that simple.
    The day Metallica dies is the day the music dies
    The day that never comes. Because it's the thing that should not be.
    More like the day Metallica dies is the day music realizes it could have let them go a long time ago.
    I started out with metal by liking metallica actually being addicted to master of puppets but afte i found megadeth learned of behind the scenes metalloca and mustaine and whatnot i started to lose interest along with they stopped putting out thrash and changed their style, but i feel load reload st amger garage incorporated death magnetic and lulu, music could most defionetely live without metallica they are the pioneers of theash metal big thanks to mustaine but even still i feel their history helped music but what theyre presently doing doesnt affect this music industry that is dying because of pop and dimwitted kids
    Then theres no reason why Metallica shouldnt release a new album every 2-3 years, but thats not gonna happen :p.
    Metallica will only stop when they physically cannot play the music anymore, like the fast riffs and solos. Even then, maybe they would tour and only play the non-blazing fast, like Enter Sandman and For Whom The Bell Tolls, and leave out stuff like Master of Puppets and Creeping Death. Who knows.
    its a shame the orion festival is so watered down by lame bands.. why is it not a metal tour?! i live an hour away and dont even know if its worth the 150 bucks for a once in a lifetime chance..
    James is the man. He should make his own solo project/new band, and get some better musicians to work with. Don't lie to yourself, he is all the talent, influence, and force of the Metallica.
    I can think of a few reasons. St. Anger being all of them, of course.
    Oh c'mon! St. Anger is Metallica's only "bad" album as such, Load, ReLoad and Death Magnetic have all been great, not as good or as heavy as their classic albums, but when has any band been as good as their classics?
    I'm sorry but Load and Reload, though to me not as bad as everyone makes out, are incredibly lackluster albums. As for Death Magnetic: The songs too long, the riffs too forgettable and when it comes to production I'm not really the whole "oh **** it, the tracks are a bit distorted but no one will notice" approach they seemed to take. The album reeks of absolutely piss poor quality control and I genuinely don't understand why people love this album. I would honestly sooner put on St. Anger than Death Magnetic. This is all purely opinion of course but that's my take on those albums anyway. Also, only bad album? Don't make me mention Lulu.
    OK this is the only time I will defend Metallica in this comment section, but Lulu was a LOU REED album with a Metallica backing band. Both parties stated that many times before and after its release.
    The only thing I found interesting about this article is that the interviewer looks like Charlie from Lost from the back.
    1. St. Anger 2. Reload 3 Death Magnetic 4. LuLu 5. Your drummer sucks 6. Kirk Hammet and his wah pedal 7. The next album (which will probably suck) Well there's 7 reasons alone for them to stop.
    Lulu is a good reason why Metallica should quit. But yes, why stop if people keep spending millions of dollars for what you used to be 30 years ago making you wealthier every day?
    No reason to stop touring...plenty of reasons to stop making albums.
    Battery Chicken
    What are you talking about? Death Magnetic was awesome. Granted it was off the back of 3 shit albums, but still awesome none the less.
    It was a very average album, didn't even come close to their earlier releases. And the production was horrible...
    As long as AC/DC and The Who keep pumping out their garbage (those guys are like 72), Metallica can hang around as long as they like.